Getting Started with Android

This guide describes how to set up your development environment for Cordova and run a sample application.

1. Minimum Requirements for Development

1.1 Supported Android Devices

  • Android 2.1 (Deprecated May 2013)
  • Android 2.2
  • Android 2.3
  • Android 3.x (Deprecated May 2013)
  • Android 4.x

We currently do not support Android 1.x, and we plan to deprecate platforms in the future as they are updated and dip below 5% on the distribution dashboard provided by Google.

2. Install SDK + Cordova

3A. Setup your PATH environment variable on Mac OS

  • Open the Terminal program (this is in your Applications/Utilites folder by default).
  • Run the following command

touch ~/.bash_profile; open ~/.bash_profile

  • This will open the file in the your default text editor.
  • You need to add the path to your Android SDK platform-tools and tools directory. In my example I will use "/Development/android-sdk-macosx" as the directory the SDK is installed in. Add the following line:

export PATH=${PATH}:/Development/android-sdk-macosx/platform-tools:/Development/android-sdk-macosx/tools

  • Save the file and quit the text editor.
  • Execute your .bash_profile to update your PATH.

source ~/.bash_profile

  • Now everytime you open the Terminal program you PATH will included the Android SDK.

3B. Setup your PATH environment variable on Windows

  • From the Desktop, right-click My Computer and click Properties.
  • Click Advanced System Settings link in the left column.
  • In the System Properties window click the Environment Variables button.
  • Select the PATH variable from the System variables section.
  • Select the Edit button.
  • You need to add the path to your Android SDK platform-tools and tools directory. In my example I will use "C:\Development\android-sdk-windows" as the directory the SDK is installed in. Append the following text into the text box:

;C:\Development\android-sdk-windows\platform-tools;C:\Development\android-sdk-windows\tools

  • Save your edit. Close the Environment Variables dialog.
  • Additionally, you may need to include %JAVA_HOME%\bin to your PATH as well. To check to see if this is required, run a command prompt and type java. If the program can not be found add %JAVA_HOME%\bin to the PATH. You may need to specify the full path instead of using the %JAVA_HOME% environment variable.
  • Finally, you may need to include %ANT_HOME%\bin to your PATH as well. To check to see if this is required, run a command prompt and type ant. If the program can not be found add %ANT_HOME%\bin to the PATH. You may need to specify the full path instead of using the %ANT_HOME% environment variable.

4. Setup New Project

  • In a terminal window, navigate to the bin directory within the android subfolder of the Cordova distribution.
  • Type in ./create <project_folder_path> <package_name> <project_name> then press "Enter"

    <project_folder_path> is the path to your new Cordova Android project
    <package_name> is the package name, e.g. com.YourCompany.YourAppName
    <project_name> is the project name, e.g. YourApp (Must not contain spaces)
    
  • Launch Eclipse, and select menu item New Project

  • Select the directory you used for <project_folder_path>

  • Click Finish.

If your project has a red X indicating there is a problem follow these additional steps:

  • Right click on the project folder.
  • In the Properties dialog that is displayed select Android from the navigation pane.
  • For the project build target select the highest Android API level you have installed.
  • Click OK
  • Then from the Project menu bar item select Clean.
  • This should correct all the errors in the project.

5A. Deploy to Emulator

  • Right click the project and go to Run As > Android Application
  • Eclipse will ask you to select an appropriate AVD. If there isn't one, then you'll need to create it.

Note: For a faster experience, use an Intel-based emulator image:

  • Open the Android SDK Manager
  • Install one or more Intel x86 Atom System Images as well as the Intel Hardware Accelerated Execution Manager (under Extras).
  • Run the Intel installer, which has been downloaded to: extras/intel/Hardware_Accelerated_Execution_Manager within your Android SDK
  • Create a new AVD with the Target set to an Intel image.
  • When starting the emulator, ensure there are no error messages about the HAX module failing to load.

5B. Deploy to Device

  • Make sure USB debugging is enabled on your device and plug it into your system. Information can be found on the Android Developer Site
  • Right click the project and go to Run As > Android Application